Review: Dirt Road Home

Dirt Road Home
Dirt Road Home by Cheryl Savageau
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The poems in this collection sing of family connection, of clashing cultures, of experiencing nature. I read this book because I wanted to see New England from an Abenaki point of view. Savageau didn’t disappoint. Her poems acknowledge First-Nations stereotypes yet move beyond them, opening up perspectives I never would have imagined. She answers heavy questions about heritage and inheritance with a lightness of touch that didn’t exclude me, even though I do not share her background. What we do share is a respect for the land she calls Ndakinna. I, like Savageau, obey the voice that calls us outside on a clear January night to breathe ice crystals and bathe in moonlight. I, like Savageau, believe trees have a pulse and gardens are meant to be shared with the feathered & furred. It’s in this common ground that her poems weave their magic—giving us all the chance to become native.

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